Human Geography, Cartography, and Statistics: A Toolkit for Geopolitical Goals in Hungary until World War II
Keywords:Geography in Hungary, Knowledge and Power, Territorial Revision, Thematic Maps, War and Science
After World War I, which resulted in Hungary surrendering approximately two-thirds of its territory, strong support was given to “Hungarian Studies” aimed at strengthening Hungarian identity and justifying revisionary attempts. This paper investigates how geography in general, and statistical and mapping methods in human geography in particular, contributed to the revisionist project in interwar Hungary. To put the story in its disciplinary context, the paper begins by presenting the links between power, territorial politics, and geography that have existed in Europe since geography was institutionalized as academic discipline. Second, the paper investigates how geography and political power became intertwined in Hungary in the decades between 1867 and the end of the peace negotiations after World War I. Third, the main section of the paper employs some case studies to explain how human geographers in Hungary deployed some of their central arguments during the interwar period to delegitimize the post-WWI European order and to substantiate the righteousness of Hungarian revisionist goals.
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